This is the best analysis I’ve seen of what’s going on with pedants and trolls.
I need to be better at handling them. I don’t even take my own advice and end up making things worse. It’s just so damned hard.
To be clear, pedantry is not disagreement — although any disagreement automatically opens a lot of ground for pedantry. Someone is not being pedantic simply because they have a different opinion or are making a contrary argument. The point at which a discussion is jointly entered, most kinds of explanation are fair game.
Pedantry is also different than teaching, although the pedant always claims that’s what they’re doing. Like any good troll, they hide behind the ambiguity of language. But there is a clear difference. Teaching is student-focused, where the most important person in the exchange is the learner. Extra steps are taken to explain it in terms they can understand, and any failure of understanding is assumed first to be the responsibility of…
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